Friday, November 9, 2012

My Glove-Box is Overflowing With E-tickets to Hell

I just came back from the grocery store.  When there, while no more than half-a-leg back into the car to come home, it struck me:  I had sinned.  Mortal and Venial Sins.  Okay, maybe not mortal, but close enough for me.

Nevertheless, I DID break rules.  Okay, maybe not legally, but my own Personal Rules and a lot of others.

Before I make my shame public, I’ll start with Laws of Attraction: which simply say that you attract into your life whatever you think about. Your dominant thoughts will find a way to manifest.

I don’t know if I’ve ever given real thought to what attracts people to one another; in fact, I don’t know if I even cared.  Either you like a person or you don’t.  You have either some things in common or none.  You know, after a few minutes, if the person you meet excites you with their looks, personality, or sense of humor. You know if they intrigue you with intellect, or you are just going in gut-wise and the decision is made for you.  Gut-wise must be where the dominant thought manifests…

You may be drawn to a sales clerk with a hovering demeanor or you may be attracted to a clerk who, by and large, ignores you just long enough to let you make your own decision then suddenly appears at the instant you are ready to check out.  

What determines your reluctance to answer the door to a solicitor? What makes you amenable to listening (for half an hour) to a Jehovah’s Witness when clearly you are of another mindset?  I don’t know.

I am certainly no stranger to what makes us err (as I am my own worst critic) but, clearly, I am an absolute stranger to what makes us divine.

Back to my real story.  Arriving at the grocery store and just before entering I saw the requisite donation solicitor.  I always make it a point to use the opposite entrance when the store entrance has a table near it with Girl Scout Cookies (because I can’t buy Just One Box; I have to buy Ten); Voter Registration tables, Signatures Needed for This Cause (or that); See’s Candy Fundraisers, or simply Solicitors of Any Kind.  Don’t tell me you haven’t all done this at one time or another.

So what "attracted" me to this entrance?  Was the Law of Attraction at work and beyond my control?  I guess.  Because here’s what happened.

Breaking Personal Rule #1:       I stop.
Breaking Personal Rule #2:       I engage.
Breaking Personal Rule #3:       I express interest/concern.
Breaking Personal Rule #4:       I ignored Mind Separating from Reality Warning Signs
Breaking Personal Rule #5:       I become The Champion.

It was cold outside; I was cold. The solicitor was shivering.  I mean, really tho’, it’s California: How cold could it actually be, for crying out loud.  But I just go by me (it’s always all about me); so I figured the guy had to be frozen down to his toes.  It was a bone-chilling 64 degrees outside. You have to understand that my body is solar-powered.

The gentleman at the table had a battered, cardboard ballot-box looking thing with old pictures in a plastic sleeve taped to it.  There were some beat up “business” cards  depicting homeless people scattered about the brown folding card table that was complete with peeling plastic and duct tape. The cards promise to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, house the homeless.  I was about to become the Lord's Minister for $20.00...leading me to...

Breaking Personal Rule #6:       Blindly refuting that this could be a scam.
Breaking Personal Rule #7:       Ignoring that the man was here from 57 miles away.

I was convinced he needed coffee and offered to get him some while I was in the store.  Anyone who knows me, knows these last four years have been fraught with serious financial problems, unemployment, and trying to get my business off the ground. In fact, saying they are the WORST four years of my life would be an understatement.  BUT: I was on a mission now, mesmerized by my own Self-hypnosis.

I could not donate money, however, I could donate to the man who was there on behalf of the "Sweet-Baby-Jesus-Lord-Have-Mercy-Thank-You-God-Hallelujah-Church-Of-The-Reverend-Curtis-A-Haynes-Congregation".  Can I get an AMEN?!!!!

Breaking Personal Rule #8:       Relinquishing Sanity in Favor of Salvation/Redemption

I floated into the store, with nothing on my mind except that cup of coffee I promised to bring out.  I got the few items I almost forgot I needed, when, suddenly, there I am in front of the deli counter, buying hot food for the Man Doing God’s Work.  I only bought what I would eat, that made sense.  Nothing fancy, just what I call Comfort Food.  Hot macaroni & cheese, chicken tenders…yummmmm.  Yet, stuff I would NEVER buy for myself, in spite of my love of it, because buying prepared food from the deli is…..

Breaking Personal Rule #9:       Wasteful because I can make it at home for a fraction of the cost.

A Starbucks was in the store (it still is, in fact).  Digging deep into my wallet for change, I find a Starbucks card given to me probably over 4 years ago.  WOOT!  I never used it because it was tantamount to:

Breaking Personal Rule #10:     Rebel against overpriced products and frivolous spending (see Rule #9).

Yet there I was.  I got two-- one for me, one for God’s Man About Town.

I’m tooling toward the store exit and feeling blissfully good, magnanimous, blessed, philanthropic, righteous, god-like, benevolent, "saved", and smug.  And so, went about:

Breaking the First Commandment:  Thou shalt not have strange gods before me.
Committing Blasphemy: Self-idolatry.

I’m STILL on the path to burning in the fires of Hell but am powerless to stop myself.

I greet the solicitor with food and coffee, as well as giving him the Starbucks card with the balance remaining on it.  He gratefully accepts my “donation” bows his head and prays for me, thanking God for my generosity.  He was honest; he was sincere: of this I have NO DOUBT. And will never, ever doubt.

I bid him adieu and as I have that half-a-leg in the car, begin to wonder: in WHOSE name did I donate: God Almighty or Pam Almighty?  Who did I think I was?  Sitting there - so full of shame -  unable to separate what I thought was a Good Deed from Arrogance - I wanted to puke.

My shame boiled down to this example: You ask me what I want or need. I tell you I just want a gasket for my blender.  You buy me a whole blender.  Or, I ask for wooden hangars (Because. That. Is. What. I. Want) but you give me sexy, new lingerie:  so I get something that makes You Feel Good.  So, what I did was the same as…

Breaking Personal Rule #11: Doing what “I” think is best for someone instead of doing what they want or providing them with what they really need.

Was I a victim?  I’ll never know.  And, frankly, that’s the ONLY part I don’t care about because just for a few special moments I felt like a million bucks, hence…

Succumbing to yet more sins:  Vanity, Self-aggrandizement, and Needing to be Adored.

In hindsight, maybe I just needed the HUMAN, real-life interaction.  I like to THINK I help by sharing Lost Animal pleas on Facebook, sending condolences to parents who have just lost their child to a drunk driver, then posting links to help them pay for funeral costs, congratulating others on their new successes, praying for others who are going on job interviews, passing along beautiful pictures, funny stories, bad jokes...the list is endless.  But while the gratification of posting on Facebook or Twitter gives me a wonderful feeling, it's transitory and fleeting.  I guess I just needed something tangible at that very moment. A voice to hear, a hand to contact.

I wish I’d never gone to the store today.  Any day I don’t hate myself is a Good Day and this one turned out to be pretty crappy.

My week’s highlights include two exceptions to the good-deed-gone-bad: Having an Egg McMuffin breakfast with my good friend, John Brown, and an absolutely silly trivia game "hosted" by Tim on FB. 

Have a nice weekend and in spite of me, Do Good Deeds for Unselfish Reasons; perhaps you can undo my mess.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The One That Got Away

RIP: Earl Hindman
In August, I received a text message from a guy who wanted me to scan his dog for a microchip.  After setting up the appointment, I went to his house with all my gear, not just the scanner.  "Ian" instructed me where to park and was waiting on the other side of the fence when I arrived.   I pull up and see just the top of Ian's head over a fence and it all sort of looked like this...without the hat.  

Ok, it was a gate with wheels

So the fence was really much bigger.

Le Truck
Meanwhile, I get my grip, hop out of the truck, and forge ahead, not knowing what lay in store for me, as is usually the case.  

Ian opens the gate and out RUSHES this Tank Girl, cleverly disguised as a Bull Terrier, which most people are wont to describe as a Pit.  As she buckled my knees, my VERY first thought was of "Petey" of the Our Gang (Spanky, Alfafa, Darla, Buckwheat) Fame.  My first Pit: this should be interesting. And yet the last thing I thought of was being mauled.  

"Dot" then proceeded to completely bathe me in kisses.  By the time she finished her "Welcome to Our House!" greeting, I was soaked, sopping, wringing wet.  My hair, my face, my ears, my neck down to my fingertips. Geez, she was scary. Cough. Ahem.  

She danced all over the place, whippy-tailed and loving.  Ian was pretty quiet all the while then suggested we go into the backyard because after all that, I couldn't get a good read on the scanner without taking off her collar (metal tags and such interfere with an accurate read for the chip detection).

Dot followed all Ian's quiet, low-key instructions to be still in order for me to do a thorough scan. There was no chip detected.

As menacing as a dewdrop!
I say, "Gee, she smells good", noticing for the first time that her coat is clean, soft, and silky.  Ian tells me he bathed her a few days earlier.  Nice, I think.  Not even a hint of a flea!

Ian begins to tell me that he "adopted" Dot from the people next door who were moving and preparing to leave her at a shelter.  Hmmmm, a guy just adopts a PIT BULL?  What the heck?  I mean, why not just let them dump the dog and go on; and why not another breed of dog? In the interim, he's petting her, cooing to her, and letting her know her WALK is in just a little while.  

I'm liking this guy.  Totally mellow, nothing over-the-top-braggadocio about him.

I asked Ian if he wanted her to have a chip and he said yes.  After I "chip" Dot, we walk to an area which is sheltered, carpeted, and neat as a pin.  So what's the first thing I notice: her dishes.  They looked EXACTLY like the ones pictured here.  

Now ALL I can think about is how dirty my own dog's dishes are. How I haven't bathed them in a while. How I didn't walk them once that week. What kind of horrible monster was I? The guilt was overwhelming.

I have to tell Ian that he should not let Dot engage in any strenuous activity at least overnight.  He immediately reaches down and tells her their walk will be postponed until tomorrow.  I want to crawl into my own shameful skin and die.  It gets worse.

Ian tells me, conversationally,  that he's "not a dog-person".  WHAT???!!!!!  He: rescues the dog from death, he bathes the dog, has her scanned for a microchip, he HAS her microchipped, he walks her daily, and he's NOT A DOG PERSON????!!!!  This is the Twilight Zone, my friends.  This is the man that got away.

Hold on:  Come the first of the year, he says, he has a friend who has a WHOLE RANCH up in Northern California, where Dot will go to live and have the place all to herself.  Meanwhile, she'll just hang with Ian.

Is there a moral to the story? Probably not. I could pepper you with all sorts of stuff like "Never judge a book by its cover", or, say, "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals".

Or, finally, as a reincarnated pup says: “My purpose, my whole life, had been to love him and be with him, to make him happy. I didn’t want to cause any unhappiness now—in that way, I decided it was probably better that he wasn’t here to see this, though I missed him so much at that moment the ache of it was as bad as the strange pains in my belly.”   ― W. Bruce Cameron, A Dog's Purpose.

Ode to Ian

Were it so that I could be
As kind and loving such as thee
To care and hold that darling pup...
In strong, enfolding arms.

There is no gauge by which to measure
Goodness in your heart
You asked for nothing; bringing pleasure...
To Dot, so stuffed with charm.

Just trust me now, for I can say
With absolute authori-tay - 
God will not wait nor hesitate... 
To bid you "Come On In!

"For kindness shown my creatures, 
No matter great or small
You've shown me all your mettle 
And thus, you must 
Come live with us
In what I call Animal Kettle!

Kettle's warm and lovely  - 
Mostly all year 'round
We laugh and sing and bark and mew - 
(We make other silly sounds)
We wait for long-lost owners...
Whose pets could not be found.

We'll leave the light on, just in case
You somehow get delayed
But know that we'll be waiting
Cuz for you, is what we prayed".

Wednesday, June 20, 2012



If you feel more comfortable, you may also participate at

Thanks, Pam

Free Online Surveys

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Recently, the following was posted in our property owner’s association newsletter and herein also lies my subsequent response.

“People at Rancho Tujunga noticed a herd of 12+ goats wandering and grazing along the western edge of Big T. canyon this morning. These aren't indigenous and were just noticed for the first time today. Has anyone in the area had animals escape or have any idea where they may have come from?”  [signed Penny] 
Charlie, frolicking

Dear Penny,
Three weeks ago I had taken my GSD up to Big Tujunga to hike, as we often do.  No biggie.  We usually hike for about 1.5 hours and then go home.  On this particular day, I decided to go northeast instead of southwest.  We traversed unknown paths, espied ducks, herons, lizards, snakes, and the usual flora.

Up to this point, Charlie, the GSD, had NEVER seen a duck, let alone a heron.  When she first espied the ducks, she lost her mind and rushed to overtake them in the stream.  As they SHOT straight up into the sky, Charlie whipped her head around at me as if to say, "WTH was that????"  After she splashed in the rivulet for a while, looking for a scent to make certain they weren't apparitions, she lost interest and recommenced her exploration of the new direction in which we were going.
What ARE those?

Later, we came upon a grand white heron on spindly red legs, straddling rocks mid-stream on our way northward.  Once Charlie caught sight of this THING, she again, bounded forward, determined to not let this new-found monster elude her.  Alas, once again, it flew up, up, and away.  Charlie was aghast!

Dejectedly, she followed me as we continued on our way, picking  through the bramble and crossing bubbling streams.

We wound our way through odd terrain until a very loud and completely out-of-context sound struck our ears.  A loud and insistent bleating came from an area up and to our right.  The pleas were repetitive and, it seemed, fraught with sorrow.  I was determined to discover what this was.  Oh, SURE, I thought it was some kind of ungulate, but was it wild and free, or, worse, in trouble?  I would rescue it!

I continued in the direction of the sound, rather bravely, I thought.  And naturally, I thought Charlie was at my heels.

Uh-uh. No Way.
Once I came upon "it", I was flabbergasted.  It was, indeed, a 200+ pound goat.  Roped and chained to trees. You can only imagine my shock.  My head WHIPPED around because I had seen Jurassic Park and knew what chained bait looked like and, furthermore, I did NOT want to be between The Bait and Whatever was going to Eat It! 

Suddenly, I realize my brave protector, Charlie, the Fierce, the Magnificent, is standing a good 15 yards back from where I was.  Her eyes wide, her ears erect, her legs braced for a quick escape.  Her very posture just screamed:  "You can look if you want, but I want room to move, and move fast, if need be!".  Under NO circumstances would she approach; not after the disappearing ducks and the heron-in-a-hurry incidents.

Bill the Randy
Knowing I could never unleash the beast, I scrambled to give it whatever flora I thought it would want.  After some time of cooing and petting and scratching the big guy, I started back in the direction of Charlie-the-Trembling and made haste to go home and call the ASPCA, the Department of Animal Control and every other group in the universe to help this poor baby.

We eventually made it back to the truck after about 2.5 hours.  Once home, my phone calls began.  Long story short: ASPCA turned me over to DAC who agreed to send an agent up there to meet me and we would then discover what abuse was being done!  HAH!

I met the agent and had to take her on yet another 1.5 hour excursion into the "wilds".  Once we neared the area, we were confronted by a man, a trifle spooky, I might add, who hollered over at us, "Hey, you're on Private Property!!!!  My companion identified herself as an officer and had to let loose that I was the one who reported an animal in trouble.  (Sheesh, so much for my anonymity!).

Hmmm, has Michael Vic seen this?
The officer told him she wanted to see the goat for herself.  That goat's name, the man told us, is "Bill".  After much sprinkling of small talk about the area, official concerns, and conversational breastmilk, we were told that "Bill" was tied off because (1) he's very, very, randy, (2) his quarters were being rebuilt and he had to remain outside, (3) he is very territorial about his females (those 14+ privately owned goats about whom you are concerned), and (4) he "gets into it" with the owner's only other male goat.

Would have been helpful!
This land upon which we stood is privately owned, not fenced, there were no "No Trespassing" signs to be seen.  The property has been in the family since the late 1800's.  The owner is trying to establish some kind of preserve for the public to someday view.  It's not in the forseeable future as money is an issue.

Did I ever get home that day?  Yes.  But from start to finish, it was a five hour day thanks to my obsession for animal safety.  Clearly, I need another passion a little less strenuous.

Makes my heinie pinch!
I would recommend that you hike southwest.  But then, again, there are always weird and quirky things to be found in that direction, as well.  I came upon many encampments in THAT direction constructed of blue tarp, cardboard boxes, makeshift tents, laundry baskets by the streams, fragments of human life, and other such detritus, as you near the area just past, but parallel to, the nursery.  When it's very, very quiet, your mind can start traveling to places you wish it wouldn't, such as "Deliverance". 

On the day that I discovered the Tent Cities, Charlie disappeared.  She's back but....that was another FIVE HOUR excursion into the canyon.

And a story for another day!

Happy trails!

Pam Fernicola
Mobile Pet Microchipping 
June is Pet Microchipping Month!
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Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Dang you, Colonel Sanders
You bearded, fat ol’ stinker
I got the crave, and you know where,
Completely.  Hook, line, sinker.

You took that dirty barnyard bird
Transformed him, yes, you did
It’s juicy, greasy, man oh man
My butt’s now gauged in grids.

I may have overdone it


As if the chicken weren’t enough
You baked a little dough
Into a fluffy biscuit
Now, I cry, “Mo! Mo! Mo!”

The Lure

Oh, lay it on me, Harlan
Give me breasts and thighs
Just driving past the signage
Wells tears up in my eyes.

Pass the graaaaaaaaaaaavy!
Drape me in that cole slaw
No one can duplicate
Gimme me taters, gimme gravy
Hurry!  I cain’t wait!

Oh, Colonel, sometimes late at night
I muse upon those legs,
Tender, hot and succulent
Which came first?  Them or the eggs?

Were I one of your chickens
I’d beg, cajole; say please,
For you to fry me up, real good,
Laid out for all to see.

It's true: I eat like a horse
Me crispy or me regular
Me spicy, or me not
Matters not a whit to me
I just don’t give a snot.

Click here for a treat
I’m willing, ready, able
To do most anything
Cuz just one sniff of KFC
Makes my heart simply sing.

Monday, January 10, 2011


No pedestal is tall enough

Gimme some SEE'S and
I will just betcha
You sure made a friend for life.

Gimme some See's and
I'm willing to letcha
Come over and borrow my bike.

Charles Alexander See opened
his first candy shop...
135 N. Western Ave.
 Los Angeles, CA

I'll follow you home
And probably beat down your door.

Scratch n' Sniff

I can't guarantee
That I’ll not make a mess on the floor.

Me need.  Me want.        NOW.

Oh, PLEASE!  Gimme some See's
…My breathing is labored…
……….I can't seem to focus…….. nor think

Inter Me Here

The room's getting dark and
I'm weak at the knees......
If only ...

    you'd given ...

            me See's...........

P.S. VALENTINE'S DAY IS COMING:  I'd click here if I were you!  

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The DVR and Christmas Fowl Up

The onus is on my DVR

I am addicted to the DVR.  There is one in the living room, one in the bedroom, and one in my son’s room.  Two DVRs have recording capabilities.  One is set for CBS, NBC, and FX; the other is set for ABC, TNT, SYFY, and USA.  I miss NOTHING.

Sometimes this can get out of hand.  For example, I was suddenly faced with equally 14 episodes of PSYCH, BURN NOTICE and a near number of DETROIT 1-8-7.

Good Cop
I decided to start with DETROIT 187 the other day as I had a ton of laundry and what a perfect excuse to stay a willing prisoner in my bedroom.  Besides I'm completely fascinated by Michael Imperioli's nose.  It affects me the same way as The Nose of Harold Ramis.  Anyway, once the laundry was finished, I still had time to change the sheets, paint the whole room, make curtains, a bed skirt and knit an afghan ... that finished up all the shows.  After that immersion, I was ready to become either a Dumb Criminal or a Serious Cop.

Me, as Gabrielle Anwar
Similarly, when a friend and I watched two seasons of TRUE BLOOD over the course of two Saturdays,  I had a little legal trouble when I went about the neighborhood biting people in the middle of the night.

Moving on to BURN NOTICE the next day,  I starved all day, vowing to become an anorexic because Gabrielle Anwar doesn’t just look good, she can also detonate anything with just gum and a toothpick.  I was going to be so hot.  That lasted until I got into the mashed potatoes.  And the pie.  And the cornbread.  Okay, so being a svelte spy was out.  So was looking like Jennifer Garner.  Sigh.

I decided I needed something REALISTIC as I felt I was becoming out-of-touch.  I went for PSYCH.  14 episodes later, I was doing the The Clue Face. I was the All-Too-Cautious Guster  (complete with screaming).  I was sighting UFOs.  I managed to get NOTHING done that day in the house.  Who can leave PSYCH for even a minute?  Later that day I applied for an SBA loan to open my own psychic detective agency.  Call me--I’m in the book.  Wait.  I already know your number.  I'm psychic, remember?

Which brings me to the Christmas Fowl Up.

Lovely Coupon
As I had yet to buy any grub for The Dinner, it occurred to me that I’d better hidey-ho to the grocery store and what with Fortune Smiling Upon Me, having just seen the VONS ad on TV:  TURKEY!  $5.00!...  how could I resist??  Such a deal!!!  I hummed to myself with shopping shrewdness.

Taking my meager unemployment check, apportioned into: so much for dog food, so much for cat food, so much for fish food, so much for bird food………and the “leavings” for us, I jumped gaily into the car.  Having picked up a bag o'spuds at Smart & Final, celery, and a few other bulk-cheap items, it was time to stalk Vons in search of the GIGANTIC-EST bird I could get for FIVE BUCKS!  Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Very empty

Into Vons, I ventured, straight to the meat section.  Upon immediately not espying the bird of my dreams, I sought out the butcher, caught his eye and pried him from a gaggle of women who needed Cooking 101  regarding a pork chop.  He scuttled over eagerly because I was wearing My Imperious Face. 

“Hi, where are the $5.00 turkeys?  I can’t seem to locate them….are they in another area?  Oh, just PLEASE tell me you’ve pirated away a few in the back.  I’ll take any size, any shape, I just need a turkey!”  I begged him to help me look for the elusive bargain.  I was so excited I couldn't take a breath.

“Oh, we don’t have any of those.”  He replied somberly, and not the least bit snotty.

“Can’t you find me just ONE?”  I whined while batting my eyelashes furiously.

“No, I’m sorry, they’re all gone.”  He seemed sympathetic, so I felt undefeated and somehow encouraged to continue, in SPITE of just having heard "NO" not once but TWICE!

“But”, I cried, “I just saw the ad on the TV.  It was Vons and the ad said five dollar turkeys…I can’t remember if it was with or without a $20.00 purchase…”  I trailed off, looking in vain at the rows and rows of turkeys some as high as $2.49 lb.

Ever so nicely, the butcher confirmed that an ad WAS run (on TV) for five-dollar turkeys.  However, it was at THANKSGIVING, not for today.  My mind was racing furiously.  Was I insane?

I stood there dumbfounded, ready to go to battle.  Then it hit me.  I had just come off watching shows that were MONTHS and MONTHS old.  The ad was, indeed, from November.  The last show I watched of PSYCH aired in November, but I had JUST WATCHED it this VERY morning.  This particular morning being DECEMBER 23.  Thanks to the Infamous DVR, I was reduced to a blithering knucklehead.  How could I extricate myself without looking like a total idiot?

“Hey, on second thought,” I said, "I’m sick of turkey.  Point me to the prime rib.”  He obliged me.  I picked up the most expensive one. 

It's now sitting somewhere on Aisle 8.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


You need to use this season to INDULGE yourself.  Don’t ask permission from the uppy-ups.  You are just ASKING to be smacked down.  Eat.  Smoke.  Drink (do not drive).  Have a joint, if that’s your bailiwick.  Pick yer poison.

COMFORT comes in many colors but it looks like most of them are blond!
Comforting, but inedible

This all comes down to The Peanut Butter Sandwich, Macaroni & Cheese, Mayonnaise, White Bread, Waffles, Spaghetti, and a U.S.D.A  Idaho Spud!  [Truth be told, if you choose the latter of the poisons in the first paragraph, you COULD add Cake Batter to this list….but that’s another story for another time.]  Come to think of it, a Pillow is white but you dare not eat it.

Ol' Paint
What IS it about visual stimuli?  It’s sooooooooo hypnotic!   I am immediately thrust backward, into childhood, whenever I see my waffle iron.  The feet are broken and have to be shimmed so the thing doesn’t tilt (even though the sight of batter oozing from one side is fascinating to watch).  The knob is gone and I have to use a screwdriver to turn it….but that was years ago and the accumulation of goop has rendered it “turnless” these days.  That the iron has that sticky, gummy residue all over it bothers me not; it’s just a testament to the workhorse abilities of the little machine.  Its brand, new silver-ness is a thing of the past but there’s something about that weather-beaten, burnt down exterior that just SCREAMS: I am a loved little appliance.
Feet of Yeti
This season, I have been waxing nostalgic ad nauseum.  I made crostoli (this little “Italian” cookie-ish thing has many names: Bow Knots, Crispelles, etc.).  I was awash with memories of my Grandfather one day.  He had this girlfriend (one of a multitude), a little round dumpling of a thing named Mary Pascuzzi.  She had four words to her English vocabulary, “Hello, Honey” was one set.  The next set began with, “You Granfadda…” followed by a litany of Italian words, all a scathing indictment of his erroneous ways told to me as she flung those knots into the hot oil.  HOWEVER, she made these crispelles that tasted like heaven on a cloud.  She worked tirelessly kneading this sweet dough into eventual thin knots, which she would fry, drizzle with honey, and then sprinkle with powdered sugar.  I hold her personally responsible for last week’s 5lb weight gain because I made them.  Once I tried to make calzones:  they looked like I made Feet of Yeti for dinner.  

Of course, I had to give the first four batches to the squirrels here.  Memory seems to be a LOT different when you get older.  YOU can go home again; but your taste buds canNOT
But what can you do to a Peanut Butter Sandwich on White Bread.  I hid the Orowheat Light Wheat Bread in the freezer and started a weeklong trek into my past, yet again.  What IS it about Skippy Creamy and soft, dreamy white bread?????  I do NOT eat ESSENCE of Peanut Butter Sandwiches either.  The fact is a peanut butter sandwich must be made to completely remove all ability to speak once you have taken a bite.

This brings us to Macaroni & Cheese.  The Great American Food.  Five minutes to throw together, one hour of taste bud ecstasy and satisfaction.  Of course, if you REALLY want to do it up right, you throw in sharp grated cheese (a ton, of course) and throw it in the oven for a while so it gets crusty on top and gooey in the middle.  Ahhhhhhhhhhh, sated again.

While I’m on the subject of macaroni…  Take your chi-chi penne (which is just about mostaccioli only shorter and skinnier).  For God’s sake, people, these fancy names for stuff we eat are just about to kill me.  So throw down a plate of spaghetti, cover it with sauce or serve it up douched in Olive Oil and Parmesan Cheese and dig in.  Oh, the “blondness” of it all!

"'s O-S-C-A-R"
And lest we forget:  Mayonnaise.  I recall a mayonnaise sandwich or two, back in the day.  If I HAD to, a piece of Oscar Mayer B-O-L-O-GNA, again on pure and pristine white bread slathered with Ye Olde Mayo, could go a long way when I felt down in the dumps.

El Magnifico
And FINALLY:  The Staple of all Staples:  MR. POTATO.  What can I say?  If EVER there was a little beast that just begged to be eaten, it is the potato.  I'm sure it actually quivers with excitement and anticipation when the toppings (or not) are prepped to be-crown this majesty of food.  A fat baked spud, drooling with real butter, suffocating under the tremendous weight of real sour cream and, what say you? chives? bacon? broccoli?  Oh, the Wonder of a Potato.  That fluffy (blond) center, steaming and gorgeous........that crisp peel........  I'm in love.  I need a minute to collect myself.

So, you go ahead and self-comfort, because the government sure isn’t going to help you out while you’re down in the dumps, but good ol’ Mother Nature (and a little bit of science) sure ain’t gonna hurt.
Here's smoking at you, kid
If we leave every decision up to Legislators to decide whether or not: we’re either too fat or too skinny, (and THEY set the bar), whether we can or cannot smoke here or there, if we’re too gay to serve our country, if we should drill offshore (thankfully recently rescinded), if we should not tax the wealthy *, we’re in deep doo-doo.  There are reports that the government of Afghanistan is corrupt in spite of alllllllllllllll the U.S. dollars being funneled into “fixing” it.  Big business, here, with the permission of our government, engages in felonious misconduct as the result of that same government’s lack of serious oversight, all to the detriment of the American People.

How many gays who fought for us
are interred here?
Well, we’ve only spent, while the United States is going to hell in a hand basket, and FAST.  That Congress Lets Unemployment Benefits Expire (during this CHRISTMAS season) defies intelligent comprehension about The Peoples’ (that’s you and me) decision to vote some of these men and women into offices of power.  Furthermore, not every State in the Union declares animal cruelty a Felony.  Ok, personal feelings aside on the animal cruelty issue….

So, while we sit here and let felons run rampant in our streets using what-all kinds of guns to snipe us on the highway but spend countless dollars enacting all kinds of this-a’s and that-a’s to keep us from smoking (WHEN is the last time you saw a drive-by cigarette shooting?????), I think we need COMFORT (see beginning of this article).
This beautiful 6-year old was a drive-by victim.
Someone's beloved child is gone forever.

Maybe you’d rather sit there, stupefied into apathy by The Real Housewives of Atlanta (or Orange County) and waste your life watching them bitch-slap each other, because it’s easier than working an Abuse Hotline.  On the other hand, perhaps you’d like your senses dulled by Jersey Shore, justifying watching it because it SOMEHOW got a People’s Choice Award so it MUST be good, intellectual TV, right?  Then, again, it beats working at a Teen Center, trying to help disadvantaged youth.  You may prefer The Bachelorette where everyone and anyone can and will be humiliated.  One of The Bachelors took his own life last month (uh, that would be Real Life).  Gee, work a suicide hotline?  Hmmmm, there’s a thought.  While these shows are stuffed down your throat, suffocating you into malaise and denial, I suggest you devise a way to somehow fight against the machine.  Start by watching Network and Wag the Dog and get a grip on your manipulators!!!!

I think I’d better go make a margarita.  Maybe two.  They’ll make me feel better about my unemployment benefits being cut off.  Don’t worry, I can’t drive after I drink: my new car was repo’d after I was laid off.  GM has no sense of humor.

I ran a spell check on this and it said I write like an eighth grader:  as if I give a kwap.  Let it spell check KWAP! 

I’LL decide whether or not I spelled it right or wrong.  Meanwhile, I'm going to go make some pancakes (blond, of course!).

 What a world, what a world………